When You Won’t Forgive…Yourself.

When You Won’t Forgive…Yourself.

Got this word from my website.

“I wanted to throw my computer in the trash after reading your story.

It stirred up all kinds of pain in my gut because I too have been sexually abused by someone who should’ve known better but didn’t do better by me. No one knows because I never told a soul.

I have been with lots of men. I let them do whatever they wanted to my body because then I would become exactly the very thing I believed I was – a slut. It numbed me long enough to have some kind of physical touch (I craved that) but no love – because let’s face it, that is a load of B&llSH9t.

Love doesn’t exist. It’s not real. Not for people like you and me. We’re always going to be the dirty girl.

I have pledged to myself to never love anyone and never allow anyone to love me. And that works fine for me. Until I found out that I was pregnant.

I was mortified that I had been stupid enough to get pregnant. I tried to get support from anywhere I could get it. But there was none. I wasn’t even sure who the father was. I was terrified to bring any innocent life into my world. I was not fit to be a mother. How could I care for another human being when I felt like I was incapable of loving anyone?

I had an abortion.

I want to tell you that I felt bad doing that but I didn’t. Once it was done, everything in my life exploded. I couldn’t deal with the guilt that I felt. I would have nightmares about the baby. I could hear my baby crying and it would never stop. It haunted me every moment of every day. I’d see somebody pushing a baby in a stroller and I would break into tears. It’s been 7 months and it hasn’t stopped tormenting me. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I don’t go out anymore. I’ve stopped living.

I have willingly killed a piece of myself and I can never pay enough for what I’ve done. It wasn’t an accident. It was a choice.

I felt hopeless.

I was looking up movie times and I got your website. I was like “What in the world is this sh8t?”

I don’t know why I did, but I read your story and you dumped everything I believed about myself and what happened to me on my (butt).

You talked about God. God? I’m sorry but where was God when all that was happening to me?

Forgiveness? You said I needed to release him from the debt that he owes me? I don’t think so. I will NEVER release him from that debt. I was a kid and he took everything from me.

I got so p8ss8ed off. You completely derailed my “right” to be angry. I felt rage that I didn’t even know was inside of me. Or maybe I did, but I haven’t let myself feel it because it scares me of what I’ll do.

In that moment I knew that I had to write you. How do you do it? How do you forgive something like that?

And maybe the scariest thing of all is…

I CAN’T FORGIVE MYSELF.

How can I forgive myself for what I’ve done? I hurt someone innocent. The very thing I was terrified of becoming…a monster that hurts another human being…I killed someone. A baby who was innocent and needed LOVE. I’m WORSE than the man who abused me. At least I’m alive but I know that I don’t deserve that. How will I ever forgive myself for THAT?

Ouch.

My heart hurts for everyone who finds themselves in a situation of pain, guilt, shame and hurt beyond anything we can comprehend. Do you see that this is CRUD? Crud that was NEVER dealt with. CRUD that has been simmering and suffocating the truth right out of this persons heart and mind. She admitted that she would NOT let herself FEEL it because she was scared of what she would do. She chose to not forgive and she chose to not love. Including herself.

I think this is one of Satan’s most lethal weapons…refusing to forgive. The bible is clear about this idea of ‘refusing to forgive’ someone.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

 

But then I kept reading. And this passage smacked me in the heart.

 

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against ANYONE, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” – Matthew 11:25-26

“…if you have anything against ANYONE…” The obvious conclusion is she needs to forgive the one that hurt her. That’s true. But look deeper here. Did she not have something against herself? Wasn’t she REFUSING to FORGIVE HERSELF? She was holding something against herself. Anyone means ANYONE, including ourselves.

That made me start talking to God about all of us who have things that we need to forgive ourselves for. All of us have sinned and those of us that have a personal relationship with Jesus may have head knowledge that the word says,

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

But we don’t always believe and accept that in our hearts. And there lies the problem doesn’t it? We know that we have to forgive OTHERS…but when it comes to ourselves, we psychotically choose to NOT FORGIVE OURSELVES. Like we know more than God. Matthew 11:25 says “If you have ANYTHING against ANYONEFORGIVE.” Period. It doesn’t leave any other options.

Max Lucado says “Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing that you were the prisoner.

Beautifully said. And that’s just it. Each of us has CRUD.

CRUD is the emotional leftovers from someone who hurt us.

I’ve explained this before.

Let’s say I see someone at the mall and they punch me in the arm in an attempt to make a funny greeting. And I tell them, “Hey, don’t do that anymore because it really hurts.” They say, “Oh, my bad. I’m sorry.” And I forgive them and we go on our way.

But the next time I run into them, they raise their arm in greeting but I instinctively flinch…why? Because what I “know” is the hurt that they caused me. So I shrink back because what I remember and what they made me feel is – PAIN. So I flinch. Even though I truly DID forgive them. It doesn’t have anything to do with forgiveness. Because I DID forgive them. But what my mind and heart knows is that “This person has hurt me in the past. Will they do it again?”

Where this can take a very hard wrong turn is when we allow the emotional CRUD from that past pain to interfere with our current lives. If I do not deal with that pain (and keep dealing with it until it doesn’t cause an outward unhealthy response) then pretty soon, because I’ve been hurt by this person, now EVERYONE I meet is suddenly a potential hurt and I won’t allow anyone to get close enough to me to even raise their arm to greet me. It’s SELF PRESERVATION. SELF PROTECTION. THAT IS CRUD.

That is why I say…DEAL WITH YOUR CRUD OR YOUR CRUD WILL DEAL WITH YOU. You must deal with your CRUD.

If this woman would have dealt with the sexual abuse trauma, there most likely would’ve been a totally different outcome. But the longer she went without dealing with her CRUD, the more layers and more unhealthy responses were learned and executed in her life. And not dealing with the CRUD is ALWAYS worse then dealing with it.

Crud isn’t sin but it can quickly take us to the place of sin.

When we refuse to forgive someone, that is SIN. Even if we refuse to forgive OURSELVES. If Jesus forgives us then who are we to refuse that forgiveness to ourselves? Who do we think we are? Do we know more than Jesus about what is “forgiveness – worthy” or not? When we think we know more than God, we are in SIN.

Many people have sabotaged their lives because they will not forgive themselves for sin. Is it normal to feel remorse? Sure. But remember what I said about forgiveness…it means that we look at the hurt that the person caused, we look at it and then we release them from the debt that we think they owe us.

Forgiveness isn’t hard until YOU have to do it. When you have to forgive someone that hurt you and in your heart and mind they DON’T deserve to be forgiven. They’re not even sorry for what they did. And many times they hurt us over and over again. That’s when forgiveness is HARD.

I have to tell you that I think true forgiveness is when you don’t WANT to forgive – when they don’t deserve the forgiveness – when they don’t even care if you forgive them or not – when it is IMPOSSIBLE to forgive.

That includes US! We don’t deserve forgiveness. We live our lives many times as if we could care less if Jesus forgives us or not. You MUST forgive yourself for your sin. Take ownership of what you’ve done. Admit it, confess it to Jesus and leave it in the past. But do not skip the “forgiving yourself” part. You can have remorse. You can feel regret for what you did. And you also might have to live with the consequences of that sin. But you cannot hold yourself to a different standard then Jesus Christ holds you to.

For those that do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, you need Him. So what does that look like? For me it was placing my faith and my life in Jesus Christ. First believing He was God’s only Son. He came to the earth. He lived a perfect life and died for my sin on the cross. I asked Him to forgive me and I turned away from my sin and placed my trust in Him forever.

Could it be that whatever you are going through right now, might be because you haven’t dealt with your crud? Could it be that you are refusing to forgive yourself? If you’re holding anything against yourself for choices that you made, and you have asked Jesus to forgive you – YOU MUST FORGIVE YOURSELF. If you refuse to forgive, “neither will your Father forgive you…”

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against ANYONE, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” – Matthew 11:25-26

Deal with your CRUD. Or your CRUD will deal with you.

4 Comments
  • GillianD04
    Posted at 12:00h, 25 February Reply

    I have struggles with forgiving myself. We talk a lot in the church about forgiving others but I’ve never thought about God’s word towards ME. This was eye-opening and made me question some choices that I’ve made and then how I’ve been punishing myself even though I already asked the Lord to forgive me. Anyone DOES include me. Wow. This was so good for me. I needed to read this today. Thanks again, Sonya. You are such a blessing to all of us.

  • 2776Jill
    Posted at 12:00h, 26 February Reply

    When I was 21 I had in abortion. It was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the baby. The guilt that follows me can become overwhelming to the point that I have thoughts about killing myself. I was afraid that God would never forgive me. Thank you for this story. I feel like maybe this was my shot for God to get a hold of me and heal me. I know that I’m not doing good on my own. The shame is real. I’ve been scared to deal with it because I feel like it will never be enough. So I just hate myself hoping that by hating myself it will be enough to make me somehow okay to still be on this earth. I know that I need God’s forgiveness and I want to try to forgive myself. It’s hard though. Would you please pray for me?

  • JohnIntx53
    Posted at 12:00h, 26 February Reply

    Once again, the Holy Spirit has spoken to my heart using your insight, pain and words. I do have some things that I need to forgive myself about. I didn’t think about when the Lord tells you to forgive others that we are one of the others. That was really cool to gain that perspective. I just need to tell you that I love your music, too. It blesses me more than you know. Pray for me as I deal with some “crud”.

  • Ike77Go
    Posted at 22:38h, 27 February Reply

    I just had to write to you to tell you that I was sorry for what the guy did to you. I am a father of 2 girls and I can’t imagine anyone hurting them like that especially myself. To be consumed by that kind of darkness and to hear how you have surrounded yourself in light. It’s so beautiful. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

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